Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers 40-man roster preview: Will Zack come up Short?

Allen Pines
Jul 5, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Zack Short (59) reacts after hitting a two run home run in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 5, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Zack Short (59) reacts after hitting a two run home run in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /
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Shortstop Zack Short will be fighting for his spot on the roster after the acquisition of Javier Báez and the emergence of Ryan Kriedler.

As the Detroit Tigers head into the 2022 season ready to compete in a way we haven’t seen in quite some time, the roster has filled out with some more established stars, thus leaving some of the more “trial-and-error” players fighting for utility or bench spots on the upcoming roster.

One of those said players is Zack Short. Originally drafted by the Cubs in the 17th round of the 2016 MLB First Year Player Draft out of Sacred Heart University, Short was sent the way of the Motor City in a 2020 trade for Cameron Maybin.

In 2021, the Tigers were searching for who could be their everyday shortstop going forward, and Short was one of the players who got tested. In 61 games, Short hit .141 with six home runs and twenty runs batted in. This left a lot to be desired from a Major League stand point. In the field, Short is below-average according to Fangraphs, not at the level of some of the other team contributors such as the aforementioned Báez.

Zack Short’s Contract Status

Zack Short is still under contract with one Minor League option remaining. That simply means he can get sent back to the minors and not have to be designated for assignment. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Short just starts the season in the minors, and is brought up later on if needed. It saves him for when he is absolutely needed without having to potentially lose him.

The rosters being expanded from 25 to 28 means he could potentially get the call early on, and that would be a good indication that the Tigers may not be afraid to lose him to waivers if he gets claimed in May. All of this depends on how the minor league options are affected with the early expanded rosters, of course.

We looked at the possibility of Short losing his 40-man roster spot altogether outright if other players surpass his ranking at Spring Training. With the recent announcement he was sent to minor league camp this morning, this will allow him to work on his swing.

Zack Short’s Game

Short is an infielder who specializes as a shortstop, but can play mostly anywhere if needed. Short played shortstop, third base and second base in 2021.  Per the report in the Detroit News last August, the Detroit Tigers were working on his swing plane to make it more level. One of his attributes is his power, which is something manager A.J. Hinch discussed in the article.

"“He hit a home run with a 40-degree launch angle the other day,” manager AJ Hinch said. “He’s got a ton of power. He might have too much power for his own good.”"

Short has  and is considered an “over-patient” hitter by some scouts. Although he didn’t grade overly well in the field in 2021 as spoken on above, scouts do consider Short an above-average fielder generally.

2022 ZiPS Projections:

My Take

I would love for Short to be able to find his groove at the Major League level. The 2020 and 2021 Detroit Tigers could afford to give players like Short an extended oppurtunity at the big league level, but for the more competitive 2022 Detroit Tigers, Short provides organizational depth. Regardless of his roster status come 2022, fans should check out “The Compound” wherever you get your podcasts. Short hosts along with fellow players Ian Happ and Dakota Mekkes.

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